Chickens have run away from coop! : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

We let our adult chickens out of their old coop when we put the babies in. So they were homeless for a while and took up reidence in the trees. Then we built their new home and no one will stay in it. We had them all trapped about 20 now in the coop but after 2 weeks let them loose again to come back at night. They are back in the trees and I am not sure what to do at this point. It takes a while to round them up out of the trees. We give them feed at night but they leave and will not stay like they used to. Any suggestions? Lynn

-- Lynn (, September 18, 2001


Response to Chickens have runaway from coop!

I'd get them back in with some feed and clip those wings(just the flight feathers on one side) until they get used to their new home. Good luck, I know it ain't easy getting poultry out of trees!!

-- mary (, September 18, 2001.

Response to Chickens have runaway from coop!

Flew the coop ehh? sorry, couldn't resist. LOL The usual way to do this is to feed them only in the evening and when they come in to eat, just lock them in for the night. This assummes you have a secure house and pen to secure them in to keep them safe from predators and for them to lay their eggs in. Most seem to lay before 9Am, so I don't let my poultry out until after 9 and of course they are all put to bed with dinner before dark. I hope this helps, that must be frustrating!!!

-- Little Quacker (, September 18, 2001.

Response to Chickens have runaway from coop!

2 weeks cooped up wasn't long enough. You have to keep them in there while they find out that they are to lay, roost and eat and drink only in there. We start with chicks, which are not allowed out of the coop until they start laying. This has always insured us that the hens go back to roost in their coop every night. Catch them, return them to jail, and feed them in the morning! Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (, September 18, 2001.

Where are you? Here in Maine, even the most incorrigeable tree dweller will come back to the roost once the weather turns ugly. I have a Banty Rooster right now who loves his freedom to be a "night rooster". As long as he doesn't crow too early or too close to the open bedroom window, he keeps his freedom until he decides it's too damn cold out there. Otherwise, we will make soup that we probably can't stick our forks into! GL!

-- Brad (, September 18, 2001.

We kept our chickens in the brooder house until they were 6 or 7 weeks old due to cold, damp weather. It gave us a chance to complete repairs to the henhouse windows. Once they were in the henhouse, we kept them inside for almost two months, without letting anyone out to play, until we were sure they had adjusted to their new home. It takes quite a bit longer than 2 weeks to train them and make them feel secure in new surroundings.

-- Claudia Glass (, September 18, 2001.

This has always worked for me. I pen the birds for 3 weeks. Feed is always in the hoppers and I feel this is the most important part of the training. My pens are wire; the old flock, while free ranging, can see the 'prisoners' and vice versa. When I open the gate at the end of the 3 weeks, the old and new flock mingle. I've never had any problems doing this.

All my birds return to the pens, on their own, at dusk to roost. I've never had to chase a bird down to pen it.

If you move the pen, or move to a different house, the 3 week jail time has to be repeated.

Hope this helps.

-- ~Rogo (, September 19, 2001.

Well we were doing everything right then, just not long enough! The birds were starting to peck at each other worse than normal so I thought I should do something quick! Well thanks for your help, off to square one. Lynn

-- Lynn (, September 19, 2001.

I have one hen that "flies the coop" everyday. I have tried putting her back in but just to have her escape again. She eventually finds here way back in at night. How does one "clip" the wings?

-- JoAnn in SD (, September 19, 2001.

Clipping wing feathers: This involves using sharp shears to cut off the first 10 flight feathers of one wing. It causes no harm to the bird, just renders it unable to fly. You'll probably need someone to help you hold the bird or do the clipping. Spread out one wing and carefully clip at least half the length off of the first 10 feathers from the outer tip inward. It will be necessary to repeat this every time the bird molts, but you may have to "help" the feathers fall out when the bird does molt because they don't fall out as easily as other feathers. Pinioning the wing is a permanent method of rendering the bird unable to fly. You spread out the wing on one side, feel for the first major joint of the wing above the wing tip (the chicken equivalent of the human's wrist), and clip the tendon.

-- KamaKamelian (, September 20, 2001.

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